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Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

smaddox Re:Down the Drain (368 comments)

For $2 billion? 20 years of current revenue? For a video game? Sounds pretty brilliant to me.

about a week ago
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First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database

smaddox Re:Congress may pass NO law... (199 comments)

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

about two weeks ago
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Princeton Nuclear Fusion Reactor Will Run Again

smaddox Re:Public cynicism about fusion (147 comments)

Why do you think that? What's so amazing about fusion that makes it so much better than every other technological achievement in history? Sure, it would solve all our energy problems for about a thousand years, at which point we would have burned through most of the available fuel because, having no incentive for efficiency, we would have wasted most of it. (Yes, I'm cynical about humanity.) But solar energy is equally capable of solving all our energy problems. And unlike fusion, it's a real technology that actually works today.

Tritium can be bread from lithium in a working fusion reactor, which is extremely abundant, and the deuterium present in the oceans is enough to last us hundreds of thousands of years.

about three weeks ago
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Princeton Nuclear Fusion Reactor Will Run Again

smaddox Re:First powered flight was half a mile (147 comments)

That article seems to suggest that the evidence for Whitehead demonstrating the first powered flight is dubious at best. If Whitehead really did succeed first, why didn't he snatch up any of the government contracts being offered at the time?

about three weeks ago
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Princeton Nuclear Fusion Reactor Will Run Again

smaddox Re: Spherical Torus (147 comments)

Since this seems to be the pedantic thread... it was actually 66 years later.

about three weeks ago
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Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

smaddox Re:I forced myself to watch it (300 comments)

While I agree that there is a difference between government censorship, and YouTube censoring videos on their privately owned network, the latter is still censorship. The definition does not specify 'by a governing entity'.

about three weeks ago
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Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

smaddox Re:Global Warming? (273 comments)

Clearly a troll, but for the benefit of anyone who may miss that point, I will simply state that there is no known mechanism for farts causing rain, whereas the greenhouse effect is a thoroughly understood and experimentally verified mechanism for CO2 causing warming.

about three weeks ago
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How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper

smaddox Re:Slashvertisement for Tesla (143 comments)

I sure as hell don't. I'm a fan of Tesla's cars, but their financials are completely upside-down. They're practically a Ponzi scheme that makes cars on the side.

about three weeks ago
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The Royal Society Proposes First Framework For Climate Engineering Experiments

smaddox Re:Time to revoke fossil fuel's social licence (174 comments)

Three years is hardly a long term trend--coal will likely bounce back, at least a couple more times. Also, if you think oil and natural gas are going away after we just discovered how to cheaply extract it from shale, you're deluding yourself. Renewable energy continues to get cheaper, and I fully hope and expect it to continue to play an ever increasing role, but it's not ready to completely replace fossil fuels. Not yet. If the major global economies decided to internalize the currently external costs of fossil fuels, it would definitely speed things up, though.

about a month ago
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The Royal Society Proposes First Framework For Climate Engineering Experiments

smaddox Re:Experiment on Venus (174 comments)

There are probably some experiments that could be attempted on Venus, but due to the lack of life, which has been critical for stabilizing Earth's climate by sequestering CO2, many could not.

about a month ago
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The Royal Society Proposes First Framework For Climate Engineering Experiments

smaddox Re:I am skeptical (174 comments)

It's difficult to say if we can 'fix' it, but we can certainly influence it. It's actually pretty simple (just not cheap)--spray lots and lots of ocean water into the upper atmosphere (I'm talking on a massive scale here). This will result in the formation of clouds, which reflect incident sunlight, resulting in cooling. Based on where your spray fleets are located, you could also heavily influence local climate.

This is of course only one possible approach, and likely not the cheapest.

about a month ago
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Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

smaddox Re:It's all funny money... (267 comments)

Be careful conflating the velocity of money with inflation. They are very different. However, I agree that all existing digital currencies that I'm aware of are doomed to failure as currencies due to their lack of any control on inflation/deflation, and particularly their inherently deflationary design (after their initial inflationary period).

about a month ago
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Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

smaddox Re:Bitcoin credibility? (267 comments)

When you get right down to it, the economy runs on faith.

I've never been much of a fan of this redefinition of the word faith. In my mind the fundamental definition for faith is belief without evidence, which does not really apply to the economy (there's plenty of evidence that the economy exists). I suppose you could claim that there's no evidence the economy will continue to exist in the future, but I think the word that better describes this reality is speculation. The economy runs on speculation. This is undeniable and explains why the economy is cyclical--there is an inherent instability.

about a month ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

smaddox Re:Is the complexity of C++ a practical joke? (427 comments)

C# pioneered lambda's.

Whaaaaaat? C# was created in 1999/2000. Lisp, which was based on lambda calculus, was first specified in 1958.

about a month ago
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Cisco To Slash Up To 6,000 Jobs -- 8% of Its Workforce -- In "Reorganization"

smaddox Re: A complaint (207 comments)

I don't work in IT, but poor documentation does seem to be the standard for all of the hardware and software we purchase. The only exceptions are Stanford Research Systems (created by PhDs well versed in publishing methods) and MBE Komponenton (German precision).

about a month ago
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The Benefits of Inequality

smaddox Re:Or... (254 comments)

What's the difference, again?

about a month ago
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Grad Student Rigs Cheap Alternative To $1,000 Air Purifiers In Smoggy China

smaddox Re: Very original (182 comments)

Agreed. Effective at reducing particle count, but not at removing harmful chemicals from the air. Still, much better than nothing.

about a month and a half ago
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Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

smaddox Re:Curiousity (46 comments)

I'm not an expert in this field, but my understanding is that radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) don't provide a whole lot of power. They do, however provide just as much at night, and after the rover is coated in sand. The wikipedia article says that they typically provide a few hundred Watts (or less).

Solar cells don't have great power density compared to other sources on Earth, but they aren't all that bad. For a Mars mission, they likely use ~30% efficient GaAs-based solar cells (at the worst). It looks like the daily average solar irradiance on Mars is at best ~250 W/m^2, with an average closer to ~100 W/m^2, which is fairly similar to Earth (less atmosphere, and all that jazz). So 30% of 100 W is 30 W (assuming ~1 m^2 of solar panels). So depending on the size of the RTG, they might provide a ~10x improvement in daily average power, which is pretty good. However, solar cells should still be a pretty weight efficient power source on Mars, especially if you're willing to go into standby mode at night to minimize battery weight.

about a month and a half ago
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Nuclear Missile Command Drops Grades From Tests To Discourage Cheating

smaddox Re:The Air Force is also making an effort to repla (122 comments)

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Older computers have the distinct advantage of being far less susceptible to EMP.

about a month and a half ago

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